The Australian National Brooch Show 2018   

2018 hails the 11th year of the CAS Inc. Brooch Show

6 July  to 31 August

at Fitzroy Library

The Australian National Brooch Show 2018 Try & Buy, Saturday 7 July

  Review by Susan Gustafson  

The opening of the 2018 Australian National Brooch Show (Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc.) took place on Saturday 7th July, between 11am and 1pm at the Fitzroy Library. This is an event well worth visiting if you haven't already been. This year the exhibition is advertised on the Yarra Library website and in Art Almanac, and there are 4 large billboards placed around inner suburbs of Melbourne. It runs until 31st August and after this, will be moving to Gallery 314, from 10-23 September.


Some of the early visitors to the “Try & Buy”

The opening is a special day, where visitors can "Try and Buy” the brooches. Using the display mirrors at the event, the volunteers assisted in helping customers try on brooches, before making a purchase. There was a constant flow of interested buyers who had such fun trying on their new treasures, taking selfies and lining up in front of the glass cases waiting for assistance so they could try their next brooch on. Some customers were buying for themselves, while others were buying for friends or relatives or getting in early for their Christmas shopping. Although the day was cold, the President of CAS had provided delicious Jasmine Tea for the visitors., and CAS provided snacks. A total of 30 brooches sold at the “Try and Buy” opening alone, and 20 brooches were purchased the day before (the day it was advertised as open to the public). But despite these great sales, there are many more brooches to view. The quality and craftsmanship of these beautiful and delightful brooches is outstanding, and an exhibition that should be seen by anyone interested in art and fashion.


Cressida showing a buyer a brooch

Visitors enjoying the show

This annual event is growing in popularity, with a showcase of imaginative, wearable art, created by contemporary Artists from across Australia. The inventiveness of the participating artists is shown in the amazing array of materials they use. Some of these include, argentium silver, Bakelite, beads, brass, brazillian agate, bronze, ceramics, charms, clay, collage, copper, coral, diamente, dichroic glass, doily, earrings, feathers, glass, mosaic, opal, paints, polymer clay, silver, wood and many other mediums.


Our Treasurer Fred, helping a queue of buyers with their purchases

Some of the brooches which sold at the opening could have sold many times over. For example, Jemma Cakebread's Road with Cypress and Start (after Van Gogh) and Wheatfield with Cypress (after Van Gogh), both embroidery on linen. The exceptional detail in these two brooches clearly showed the professional craftsmanship, and its not surprising they were snapped up. Christine Hammond's Scotty and Dasher stoneware clay, were again bought by a keen customer. These two cheeky little dogs displayed a playfulness in their making and could have sold again and again. Another very original brooch which was beautifully created was Georgia Neel Hewitt's Lotus, made from pistachio shells and pinecone pieces. Extraordinary! Sue McKissock's delicate and beautiful brooches using mixed media, collage and resin were original and skilfully made, Flight and Spring were admired by many.


Brooch buyer, Shona, couldn’t wait to wear her new acquisition!

This event is such a delight for Melburnians and visitors alike that its worth noting it in your diaries for 2019. If you're a lover of fashion, art and all things original and creative, this is not an exhibition that you want to miss.

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